School Tours: Recruiting the Next Generation of Ag Leaders
Posted on November 9, 2012 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
Many of you open your farm gates to school tours to give students a better understanding of the food production. But those tour groups also include the next generation of agricultural leaders. As agriculture expands beyond the farm to the laboratory, test plot, manufacturing facility and public office, students need to learn what agricultural careers are available to them and how they should start preparing for future success.
That was the thought process behind the recent Ag Career Day 2012, hosted by the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation
(KCEDC) in Kewaunee, Wis. In its inaugural year, nearly 800 seventh and eighth grade students from area school districts visited Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy on April 19 and 20. According to event coordinators, the experience helped students learn more about the vast careers available in agriculture and also reiterated “the critical role the industry plays in our local and national economy.”
Showcased careers included local farm operations, agronomy, milk testing, cheese making, cropping, animal nutrition, support services, green energy and many more. Students traveled through 30 different career stations and also took a tour of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy
, which includes a rotary parlor and methane digester.
Laurie Winkelman, Vita Plus dairy nutritionist and technical services specialist, attended the event to help students learn more about animal nutrition.
“It is always such a great opportunity to share information about how we fit into food production and getting food onto the shelves of a grocery store,” she said. “Young people today have less and less exposure to agriculture, and this event was definitely eye-opening for the more than 800 students, teachers and chaperones that attended and moved through the career stations. By sparking an interest in agriculture in these young people now, hopefully they will consider agriculture as a career choice as they move forward into high school and college.”